some guy (self) wrote,
some guy

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the day I mistook the laundry for a birthday cake

Previously on...
    When this journal started, I was all about documenting the psycho tricks my mind plays on me. Haven't done that in a while. For those of you who've joined in recently, self's a lunatic.

    And, now you're caught up!

So, I'm lying in bed last night, and as is so often the case, I start thinking of all the responsibilities I forgot to deal with during the course of the day. My mind forms checklists, starts planning out the next day's agenda to make up for these failures, but with nothing on paper, I know we'll go through this again.

I find myself counting calories from the day's meals -- an old habit from the dieting effort. If I haven't eaten enough, I'll drag myself out of bed to fix that. If I've eaten too much, I review the past week or so to decide how strict I need to be with myself tomorrow. Well, this past week or two, our freezer's been broken, so I've been at the mercy of restaurants to have my best interests at heart -- otherwise known as "ignore the diet and hope for the best."

I was thinking through all that, and decide there isn't a lot of leeway left. So, some tough decisions need to be made about my birthday -- do I have cake, or skip it? Maybe a cupcake, for portion control. But then do I buy those from Vons or Ralphs?
    See, Vons makes the better cake, and that's really what I'm craving. Their cupcakes are just small cakes, really, but I can't seem to accept that. It feels wrong to me that they should taste as they do, so I tend to favor Ralphs in the cupcake size -- their cakes aren't as good, I think because they're essentially very large cupcakes. More pure to the cupcake ideal, if you will.

    The mind's a funny thing, and so much of taste is psychological. I know there's no reason behind these statements, and yet they're irrefutable to me. The bakery departments at Vons and Ralphs are simply unable to handle more than one size of cake. Their recipes call for a specific amount of surface area, and they don't even compensate for the presence (or absence) of ridgy paper covering.
But then, I go back to this "skip the cake" idea. If I need to launch back into the diet, nothing makes me take a thing seriously like sacrificing something I really want. But, I really want the cake. And didn't God tell Abraham we're not supposed to go through with such plans?

Around this time, I realize that I am tasting Vons cake. The frosting in particular. I roll it around in my mouth, sensing not just the taste, but weight and texture. It's a vivid hallucination, more so than I could have brought about by trying to visualize myself eating the cake. Part of me marvels at this, but it can't last -- wonder be damned, the rational mind demands an explanation.

Have I had this type of cake recently?
      No. That would have been October, at my nephew's birthday party.

Have I eaten anything at all similar to cake, and then forgot to chew and swallow it before going to bed?
      Eww. No!

Well, taste and smell are closely related -- is there anything in your bedroom that smells like birthday cake?
      That gives me pause. I catch myself listing off objects and stop myself -- there's an easier way. I take a deep breath to and will myself to perceive odors normally far in the background.

Suddenly, it's not cake I'm tasting, and "laundry" moves to the top of my neglected to-do list.
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